AMERICA has delivered a vicious rebuke to Hillary Clinton and the Washington establishment, voting Republican firebrand Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States; despite early uncertainty, the sky will not fall in, and Trump’s task is to make good his vow to “make America great again.” For Clinton, the repudiation is a brutal, thorough, deserved humiliation. For her party, it remains to be seen whether it can recover by 2020 — if at all.
First things first: congratulations must be minuted to President-elect Trump, his family, their supporters, and the 60 million Americans who voted for them; Donald Trump has been elected to the most powerful political office in the free world — and will become its 45th occupant on 20 January — and it is to be hoped, for the common global good, that the eloquent vision he articulated during his victory speech last night (Melbourne time) is one he delivers upon.
I am not a supporter of Trump, nor am I hostile toward him; I am however (as regular readers well know) flatly opposed to the Clintons ever again holding public office and in this sense, the United States and the world have been spared four gruelling and traumatic years of legal machinations, a probable impeachment, and quite possibly armed conflict with Russia. And this is before we even contemplate the divisive, insiderish, illiberal junta that would have comprised a second Clinton administration.
Donald Trump, to be sure, is far from an ideal candidate for the presidency of the United States.
But his alleged misdemeanours — real, imagined, or laid bare by Wikileaks as campaign plots by a morally bankrupt and repugnant Democratic Party — pale into insignificance alongside any contemplation of decades of shady legal and business manoeuvres, questionable (and possibly criminal) behaviour during four years as Secretary of State, or the arrant and abhorrent sense of entitlement with which Hillary Clinton pursued the position of President.
This is not to say that dirty talk about women and other insulting and/or demeaning conduct should be sanctioned or condoned; far from it, although there are those leftist zealots who will accuse me of doing precisely that irrespective of any declamations to the contrary. For those people, reality is a jaundiced concept.
But a woman whose conduct may yet be found to have been brazenly and wantonly criminal — and who, in “supporting” her husband has repeatedly silenced women who levelled accusations of rape and sexual assault against Bill Clinton — is in no position to wail about “misogyny” or the mistreatment of her gender; in any case, she has singularly failed to satisfactorily answer the charge that her flagrant misuse of email systems as Secretary of State at best divulged highly classified material, and at worst compromised the national security of both the United States of America and its allies.
Hillary Clinton is, to be sure, the most unsuitable candidate to ever seek to be President. Whilst the alleged misdeeds of Trump are nothing to recommend, they do not outweigh any reasonable or reasoned assessment of her claim to that office. On that score, one of the best deconstructions of that campaign I have seen can (and should) be viewed below.
At the time of publication, it appears Trump and Clinton are level pegging with 47.6% of the popular vote apiece, with the balance claimed by a raft of minor party candidates, although as counting concludes in the Democratic fortress of California, Clinton will likely edge Trump on this measure by about half a percentage point overall.
In the Electoral College — where it really matters — this translates into 310 of 538 votes for Trump to 228 for Clinton, as the Republican carried EC votes from 31 of the 50 states to Clinton’s 19 plus the District of Columbia.
It is, in EC terms, a convincing win that falls short of a landslide. The only real surprise is that the margin isn’t greater.
One of the points of interest I have noted is that of the seven extra states Trump won, six — Ohio, New Hampshire, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — are clustered in the north-east in and around the area variously described as “Hillary’s firewall” and the home of America’s liberal Left “elites.”
In other words, the Trump victory has been primarily fuelled by a rebellion against Clinton and the Democrats on what is to all intents and purposes their home turf: the only extra state he picked up elsewhere was Florida, whose 29 EC votes ultimately proved surplus to the required 270-vote threshold.
The notion Trump’s win was driven by a backlash against the Democrats in their heartland is further underlined by the fact almost every state the Democrats nevertheless carried in the immediate vicinity of those they lost — New York, Maine, Connecticut, to mention a few — were carried with significantly reduced margins.
There is a very clear message to politicians of the liberal Left — in and beyond the United States — and one that transcends the populist claptrap that at times characterised Trump’s campaign tactics: people are fed up with being told how to think, and act, and behave, or that someone else knows better than they do how to run their lives or spend their money, or that their country is the plaything for profit of a cabal of mostly unelected spivs legitimised by the fig leaf of an electoral endorsement obtained by gross deception.
This message (and its impact) has now been felt twice in Britain, once with the majority victory by the Conservative Party last year and subsequently in the Brexit referendum in June; it was a key reason for yesterday’s victory by Trump in the USA; and the prospect of sitting governments being turfed out in western Europe in favour of nationalist and/or conservative libertarian outfits is high, with the Front National in France a real chance to push the ruling Socialists out of contention in next year’s elections.
It is one that is quickly generating a backlash here in Australia, as people fed up with the finger-shaking agendas of an insiderish few profiting from the public purse, aimed at enshrining political correctness and hard socialism, find their voices in (for now) minor fringe parties.
If the Liberal Party rediscovers its proper role as the steward of the individual, freedom and respect for traditional institutions and values, it will prosper; but if it does not, the risk a new conservative force rooted in the mainstream rather than the far Right may usurp it is very real.
In other words, the forces that have led to the ascension of Trump are on the march across the Western world, as people react against the scam of “climate change,” the spectre of unlimited mass immigration, the prescriptive regulation of speech and thought, and the consequent destruction of everything that made their countries great to begin with.
Contrary to nightmare scenarios bandied about by Clinton and her cheer squad in global media — in increasingly shrill tones as election day drew nigh — the world will not end under President Trump, and the sky will not fall in; it is an obscene intellectual dishonesty to suggest otherwise, but in the US, Australia, Canada, Britain and elsewhere, it is fashionable for the Left to frame any conservative electoral mandate as the precursor to unmitigated social, economic (and in this case, military) destruction.
Ironically, the prospects for global conflict will recede after yesterday’s win by Trump; far from the a candidate with “inappropriate links” to Russia, Trump has demonstrated that he understands the need to ratchet tensions with the re-emergent superpower down.
In this sense, the so-called “bromance” he enjoys with Vladimir Putin appears likely to provide a circuit-breaker in US-Russia relations that would not have materialised under Clinton, who spent four years as Secretary of State giving every appearance of being as provocative toward Putin as possible, and whose campaign articulated a series of positions on Syria and the Middle East that seem contrived only to goad Russia into armed confrontation.
Global financial markets — which initially reeled on discovering compliant media reports assuring a Clinton victory were incorrect — will soon enough stabilise, as they did in the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.
And whilst some of America’s trading partners may be entitled to feel nervous about changes Trump says he will make — backed by majorities in both Houses of Congress, no less — the truth is that US interests have been badly damaged during eight years of spectacularly incompetent Democratic rule. Whilst the Trump prescription might not be perfect, the prospect the American economy can be revived under this new approach is at worst no less probable than anything Clinton might have attempted.
Significantly, Trump has made it clear that the relationship with Australia is a key priority for his incoming administration: to safeguard our own interests, Australian officials have been building bridges to the Trump camp for months, and media reports yesterday featuring senior US figures suggested these prove fruitful.
But in the end, yesterday’s election result — a vindication of the Trump message, however unorthodox — was really a judgement on the illiberalism and socialism and failed international and domestic strategies of a moribund Democratic Party.
After two eight-year administrations in less than 25 years, it is easy to forget that America’s Democrats have lost six of the past ten US elections and that a seventh — Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992 — might have ended very differently had Ross Perot not drained off 19% of the vote as a third-party candidate: a development widely acknowledged at the time as having cost the senior George Bush a second term in the White House.
And in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, the euphoria of initial victory was quickly displaced by deep unpopularity and electoral mauling as soon as mid-term elections fell due; in Clinton’s case, a second term was made a certainty only by exceedingly poor candidate selection by the Republicans.
In short, the US Democratic Party of the past 40 years isn’t the most successful outfit on the planet.
I was shocked to learn, flicking through Wikipedia at the weekend, that many prominent names at Democratic presidential selection contests 30 years ago have remained prominent for most of the time since; the current Vice-President, for example, initially sought the presidency in the 1980s.
And with an eye to the future, it seems a tall ask for the Democrats to be competitive in four years’ time, let alone be in any position to win.
Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was, in some respects, the last lunge by a patronage-addled, insiderish junta at an undeserved return to power in Washington; it has rightly been punished with defeat, and there are few credible names coming through that party’s ranks who might make plausible claims to the White House even after a further four years.
By contrast, the Republicans are blessed with fresh blood, with the likes of Scott Walker and Marco Rubio seemingly on the cusp of acting as standard bearers for a new era of American conservative politics.
I would be surprised if Trump seeks a second term in 2020, at the age of 74; whether he does or not, I suspect the axis of American politics is very much tilting away from the Democrats.
Either way — and whether he does or not — the onus is now on Trump to deliver on his rhetoric, and to make good his promise to “make America great again;” this project doesn’t start for another ten weeks, and until it does, I will reserve my judgement.
For Hillary Clinton, yesterday represented a brutal and thoroughly deserved humiliation, and a savage repudiation of everything she and her insidious cabal stands for; as I publish, Clinton has had neither the grace to publicly concede the election to Trump, nor the basic decency to address the American public or her long-suffering supporters. In defeat, Hillary Clinton has shown just how poor a champion she really is for the groups she claims to represent, and her actions remove any final vestiges of doubt that her only real agenda was power at literally any price.
America — and the world — are the poorer for the bruising and at times tasteless election campaign that concluded yesterday. It is Trump’s responsibility to now restore some decorum and prestige to institutions and processes that have been considerably tarnished.
But this election was destined to be lost by Hillary Clinton, who was born to lose any contest for the highest office in the United States at which she may have sought to slake her thirst for power and the imbecilic delusions of entitlement and public adulation that may have fed it.
In the end, this had nothing to do with oppressed women, or male dominance of spheres of influence, or the inherent “sexism” of the electorate, or any other bullshit with which the Left seeks to justify the failure of undesirable and contemptible candidates for high office.
Hillary Clinton has failed because the US public — weary of her after 40 years in public life, and contemptuous of her litany of scandals, fixes and other embarrassments — has finally decided to simply say “no.”
There is nobody else to blame. The result perfectly reflects her unfitness for office. Hillary Clinton emerges from this contest with precisely what she deserves, and that — literally — is absolutely nothing.